In 2022, the World Cup will be played for the last time by a large number of heroes and the greatest players of their generation. Since these icons are retiring, the 2026 World Cup will feature a new crop of athletes.
Both Messi and Ronaldo will be making their fifth World Cup appearances in Qatar. Both made their tournament debuts in 2006. Major players like Luka Modric, Robert Lewandowski, Luis Suarez, and many others will most likely be finishing their careers at this World Cup. They only have this one shot left to take home the hardware.
In this article, we will discuss the top players who will play their last World Cup.
|Angel Di Maria||Argentina|
1. Lionel Messi, Argentina
Probably the greatest player of all time will play his last World Cup as well. Lionel Messi, who will turn 35 this year, has been in top form for both the Argentina national team and his club, PSG.
One last shot at World Cup success will be in his sights. His Argentina squad has been playing exceptionally well leading up to the 2018 World Cup, and they are currently unbeaten in their last five games.
This will be Messi’s seventh World Cup with the Argentina national team and his first since 2006. Even though Messi and Argentina were incredibly close to winning the World Cup in 2014, they ultimately lost to Germany in the final. A golden ball was awarded to him at that World Cup. Messi has scored a total of 7 goals in the World Cup. Everyone will enjoy Messi’s magic one last time.
2. Neymar, Brazil
When the 2026 World Cup is held in the United States, Neymar will be 34 years old. Neymar can still play for Brazil until the end of the year, but he plans to quit the team after that. Many people think that the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be his last time playing for his country in a tournament.
Neymar has had a number of career-ending injuries that have slowed him down and made it harder for him to move quickly. Despite this, he is still a top-tier player. Even though he had a lot of bad luck, he kept playing for his well-known club and country. The forward for Brazil doesn’t think he’ll be on the team after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Only Pele has scored more goals for Brazil than him, with 86. Neymar has scored 115 goals in 163 games for Paris Saint-Germain. In 186 games for Barcelona, he scored 105 goals.
3. Diego Godin, Uruguay
Diego Godin the 36-year-old defender, is playing his last World Cup tournament. This year is not very good for the former Atletico Madrid defender. He played very little football this year because of an injury.
Godin is currently playing at Serie A’s Cagliari Calcio. He has played in the World Cup three times (in 2010, 2014, and 2018). He and his team will look for World Cup glory this time.
4. Luis Suarez, Uruguay
The 35-year-old legendary striker from Uruguay will play his last World Cup as well. Suarez scored more than 500 goals in his career. Luis Suarez is presently playing for the Nacional team that competes in Uruguay’s Primera division.
Because the former player for Barcelona will be 39 years old by the time the next tournament rolls around, this will likely be the last World Cup in which he participates. In 2010, 2014, and 2018 he took part in competitions.
5. Edinson Cavani, Uruguay
Edinson Cavani, a veteran striker who is 35 years old, has been nominated to Uruguay’s 26-man squad for the Fifa World Cup, which will be held in Qatar. This will be Cavani’s fourth consecutive appearance at the World Cup.
Cavani is a player in the Valencia team at the moment and has just recently recovered from an ankle injury. Cavani currently has five goals scored for him at the World Cup. The legendary striker is among the top strikers of his generation. He has played for lots of legendary clubs and won many trophies. During his period, he never won the World Cup. This is his last World Cup and he’ll try to win this tournament for his country.
6. Robert Lewandowski, Poland
The 34-year-old Polish Striker is currently playing for FC Barcelona. He has won many trophies at the club level. His national side lack quality player that’s why Poland’s campaign for the World Cup is never been promising.
He has played in two World Cups including the 2022 World Cup. Lewa will be 38 during the 2026 World Cup and most likely this is the last time he will play in this tournament. Polish fans are excited to see him on the big stage one last time.
7. Angel Di Maria, Argentina
It is anticipated that Di Maria will be a part of Argentina’s World Cup squad for the tournament in Qatar. The Argentina striker has announced that he would retire from playing football for his country, but it is unknown what his plans are for his future in club sport.
Despite suffering a hamstring injury, Juventus winger Angel Di Maria is expected to participate in the World Cup. Taking into consideration his age, this will be his final World Cup. This time around, he and his teammate Messi will try their best to win the tournament.
8. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo, the captain of Portugal, will lead his country in what will likely be his fifth and final appearance at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The all-time great is here with a strong team, and they have a fantastic opportunity to take first place in the Tournament.
The five-time Balon D’Or winner netted goals in each of his four prior World Cup competitions, for a total of seven goals. Ronaldo has already established himself as the player with the most goals scored in the history of men’s international soccer. He has 117 goals to his name, and he has played for Portugal a record 191 times.
9. Pepe, Portugal
Another modern-day great defender will play his last World Cup in 2022. The footballer, at 38, is still actively playing with Porto, where he serves as captain. He has more game experience than anyone else on the current Portugal roster.
Fans of Portugal will never forget his spectacular effort during the 2016 Euro final.
10. Thiago Silva, Brazil
It is generally agreed upon that Thiago Silva is one of the very best central defenders currently active. He played for Brazil’s national team in addition to several other illustrious clubs throughout the world. Recently, he helped his team, Chelsea, take home the UEFA Champions League trophy. However, he does not yet have a victory to his record in the World Cup competition.
Although he is 38 years old and competing in his final World Cup, the athlete is in great condition. He will have one final opportunity to win the World Cup and take home the trophy.
11. Dani Alves, Brazil
The Brazilian national team has selected the 39-year-old player to take part in the World Cup in 2022. The fact that he was called up to the team indicates that Brazil has not yet identified the ideal person to take his position. There is still a chance for the defender to win it for Brazil.
He has represented Brazil in 124 different matches. Alves currently holds the record for the most trophies ever won by an active player.
12. Olivier Giroud, France
Giroud, who plays forward for AC Milan and is 34 years old, could very probably call it a career in international football next year. Recent events have made him the second-oldest player in World Cup history to score a goal.
As a result of his recent goal, he has surpassed Thierry Henry to become France’s all-time leading goal scorer. He was an integral member of the historic France team that took home the World Cup in 2018.
13. Hugo Lloris, France
Since 2008, Lloris has been the captain of the France national team. He has 108 matches under his belt as captain for France, making him the player with the most international appearances for France. He served as captain of the France national team that won the 2018 World Cup.
He will be competing in his final World Cup after reaching the age of 35 years old. Hugo has competed for France in a total of three World Cups, three European Championships, and two Nations Leagues.
14. Karim Benzema, France
Benzema will turn 35 years old in December, making him eligible for the Ballon d’Or in 2022. During the previous campaign, he led Real Madrid to victories in both the UEFA Champions League and La Liga. As a result of his outstanding performance, he was recognized as the best player in the world and awarded the Ballon d’Or.
He was not able to participate in the 2018 World Cup because of the controversy that surrounded him, but he has chosen to compete in the World Cup this time around despite having injury problems. The France squad would benefit greatly from having a player of his caliber on it. This will be his final World Cup appearance because he will be 38 years old in 2026.
15. Jordi Alba, Spain
When Spain won the 2010 World Cup, Jordi Alba was a key member of the team. The wingback was a multi-time winner for both his country and his club. He’s a fantastic quarterback for his generation. There are a lot of young players on the Spanish team, but he still has a shot at making the starting lineup. This demonstrates his standing on the Spanish side. This is the final World Cup for the 33-year-old.
16. Sergio Busquets, Spain
The Spanish defensive midfielder has already won both the World Cup and the Euro Cup with the Spanish national team. He was a part of the team that won both tournaments. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest CDMs of his generation and all time. His statistics are unmatched in the history of the game, as are his vision and game sense.
Busquets has shared the field with some of the best players to ever come out of Spain, including Xavi and Iniesta. He will be 34 years old when this year’s World Cup takes place, and it is highly possible that he will play his final international tournament for Spain in this very same year.
17. Gareth Bale, Wales
Since Wales has not participated in the World Cup since 1958, it is only natural that Bales will make his debut at the tournament in 2022. This renowned winger was instrumental in his club winning a number of titles over his career. Because it had been so long since Wales had competed in a World Cup, this year’s competition had a special significance for the Welsh national football team.
They are looking forward to witnessing Gareth Bale compete in this competition for the final time before he retires at the age of 37 in 2026.
18. Manuel Neuer, Germany
Manuel Neuer, who captains both Germany and Bayern Munich, has been an undisputed starter for his club and nation for a significant amount of time. Many people rank the German goalie among the top five best of all time. Both his club squad and his country’s side are famous for their statistics.
He had won everything for both, and his contributions as a goalie were very important to the victories they achieved. So far in the World Cup, he has participated in 16 games, during which he has either allowed 11 goals or maintained a clean sheet seven times. The German national team that won the World Cup included him prominently. Neuer is 36 years old, and this will be his final World Cup appearance.
19. Thomas Muller, Germany
Thomas Muller, a legend for Germany who will be retiring after this World Cup, is currently 33 years old. He will not feature in the next 2026 World Cup due to his age.
His career with Germany and Bayern Munchen has been quite remarkable to say the least. Müller, who is now 33 years old and participated in the 2010 World Cup, was responsible for five of Germany’s goals and has been a mainstay for Bayern Munich and Germany ever since. During Germany’s run to the 2014 World Cup championship, Muller was one of the team’s most impressive players.
20. Luka Modric, Croatia
The winner of the Ballon d’Or for 2018, who was awarded the trophy as a result of his incredible performance in the 2018 World Cup. In that tournament, he guided his team to the Final.
The superstar of Real Madrid has competed in the World Cup on three separate occasions so far. Modric just had his 37th birthday in September, which means that he will be 40 years old in 2026. On the global stage, we shall be treated to one final display of his magical and creative prowess. Modric will go down in history as one of the greatest midfielders of all time.